Equine facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) is a form of psychotherapy that includes the use of horses as co-facilitators along with the qualified counsellor/psychotherapist to explore past experiences. The sessions incorporate creative, active and reflective activities with the horses offering support, feedback and shifts in energy for the client, often at a deep level.
EFP can offer a less intrusive and challenging environment than many room based therapies due the focus being placed on the clients interactions and relationship with the horse/s, rather than the traditional client/therapist dynamic.
Horses are excellent therapists because they are incredibly intuitive, whilst being none judgmental and responsive to subtle changes in body language and emotions. These skills mean that horses will react with specific behaviour when interacting with clients in the therapy space and can therefore offer immediate feedback.
Horses are prey animals and have survived and evolved by sensing and communicating threats to themselves and the rest of the herd and are able to share these skills during therapeutic sessions. Being herd animals and incredibly social, horses offer insights into relationships for individuals and groups by observing them and being a part of their environment.
I am a LEAP trained EFP practitioner and have qualified in the first UK EFP academic qualification through the Crossfields Institute.
LEAP is a UK based model for Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and was the first to be endorsed by an external governing body, BACP. LEAP Practitioners abide by the standard BACP Code of Ethics and to practise EFP need to be qualified counsellors/psychotherapists. The aim is to ensure the experience is safe and healing for clients.
Some of the areas that EFP is effective at working with:
- Anger Management
- Excluded young people
- Foster Families
- Eating disorders
- Life Skills
- Leadership skills
- Team work
EFP sessions will be facilitated by Ivan for 1 to 1 sessions. Group sessions will be facilitated by two practitioners, both of whom have trained in the LEAP method of EFP.